Sunday, February 24, 2019

DR Retreat 2019 and Ear Boogers

Well, we wrapped up the DR Retreat 2019.  It began last Tuesday evening, and we took last weekend off.  What is the DR Retreat?

Generally, it begins at 9am with lunch and dinner at 12 and 6:30pm with sessions in between.  I heard the sessions were good.

I see a few purposes for having the retreat.  On the first day, we took a look at everything that was accomplished in the village over the last year.  We filled up 3 white boards with things; new buildings, new dogs, new residents, successful classes, and well-attended workshops.  It felt like a victory lap after a long and busy year.

Retreat is also a chance for folks to connect more deeply if they so choose.  I’ve written about it before, but I am amazed how easy it is to not see folks for days even though we are a village of only about 50 adults.  Retreat is a chance to connect in person.  I’m a counter, and I have counted about 17 to 25 people at the gatherings where we are all together.  We also break out into smaller groups, but I’ll get to that in a minute.

Finally, we take a look at what is upcoming in 2019 and attempt to set priorities.  I say “attempt” as we never know what may surface.  Much time and energy has been unexpectedly but appropriately dedicated to helping folks cope with the village situation that surprised us all which I wrote about in my last blog.

Let me tell you a little about the sessions.

My favorite session was the Samba Dance Troupe -  daDa-daDa-Da-duh, daDa-daDa-Da-duh.  My foot is tapping just remembering it. If you have no morning Samba in your life, I suggest you get some.  Jason, an awesome drummer that just moved here a few months ago from Colorado, led the whole thing by demonstrating the instrument to be played and handing it off to someone in the circle and giving them the beat, daDa-daDa-Da-duh, daDa-daDa-Da-duh, until they caught on.  Castanets, cow bells, balaclavas, triangles, and rattles were represented.  I had a rattle.  Don’t judge.  Another rattle broke open during the ruckus spraying hundreds of little beads across the floor.  Very authentic.  I hear some of Carnival’s best Somba troupes will often break a rattle mid-dance.

Once Jason had all the instruments passed out, he sat down with a bass pedal next to the suitcase he had just taken all the instruments out of to distribute.  But this was no ordinary suitcase.  This suitcase became a bass drum. He also set up a snare drum and a cymbal.  For 15 or 20 minutes, we were the rockin’est Somba Dance Troupe in Rutledge.  You hear that Scotland County MO?  We were the rockin’est Somba Dance Troupe in Rutledge!

And now a word about drummer face.  Drummer face is the face I make when I play the drums or any other percussion instrument, the rattle in this particular instance.  Don't judge.  My drummer face is unlike any other face I make.  In fact, I can’t even strum my fingers on the table during dinner without making a wee bit of drummer face.  Jason most definitely had drummer face.  Drummer face is how I would look if I was cool.  Drummer face is the face I would make after getting off my Harley and stretching my legs after 12 hours in the saddle.  Drummer face is the face I would make if I ever got a strike in bowling.  As if.

And now for the worst transition ever written.  Drummer face is the face I would make after flushing a ball of earwax the size of a grape out of my ear.  Some friends and I had a conversation about these “ear boogers” on the way to town the other day.  For years, I’ve softened mine up with those ear drops that make tickly bubbles in my ears which I follow up with a vigorous, warm water irrigation via a small, plastic, squeeze bulb.  It is so satisfying when the water flows back out freely, and I know what’s coming when I look into the sink; ear booger!  We all agreed Q-tips are not indicated for such situations and actually act as ramrods packing our ears tighter and making them hurt more.  One friend suggested a curved device with a tiny scoop on the end, possibly Chinese in origin, that would do the trick nicely. 

The counterpoint to this suggestion was not letting a friend anywhere near your ear with such a device and only trust yourself if hazarding this modality at all.  In the back of my head, I can hear my mom passing on the advice her doctor gave her, “The only thing you should ever put in your ear is your elbow with a towel wrapped around it.”

So the great thing about flushing the grapes out of my ears is that my balance has been noticeably better.  I’m currently having almost no dizziness which I’ve struggled with since the beginning of July.  Granted things have been slowly improving as I’ve tried some other means to help get rid of the vertigo, but is sure seems like getting rid of the ear boogers has helped considerably.  Who knew?

You never know what you’re going to get in my blog so be sure and tune in next time when I cover the various disclaimers that have come with the food I’ve eaten since I moved here.

Sneak Preview:  “I made too much food for the dog, do you want some?” and, “If you don’t mind a little mold, ....”

Sorry.  I forgot about the other retreat topics;  firewood, conflict resolution, Kid Committee, what committee will hold what issues, Milkweed Mercantile, lunch, snacks, and dinner.  It’s in the notes if you want to know more.

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